Originally a scientific observatory associated with the Smithsonian to monitor volcanic activity, this is one of the closest hotels to the Arenal Volcano. The views from the rooms, restaurant, and common areas are simply spectacular. The main dining room features a massive wall of glass, with a V-shaped peak that perfectly frames the volcano. The lodge is a bit isolated from the hustle and bustle of this busy region, and is graced with a large, private reserve and an excellent network of trails bordering the national park. The best rooms and views are found in the suites and private villas below the main lodge building. Given the remote location, you’ll want a rental car, ideally 4WD, if staying here.

Head to the national park entrance, stay on the dirt road past the entrance, and follow the signs to the lodge.